United Flight Attendants Call on CEO Glenn Tilton to Immediately Make Employee Pension Payments
August 20, 2004
Court confirms lending agreement does not prohibit pension payments.
CHICAGO -- Greg Davidowitch, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA United Airlines Master Executive Council, today made the following statement regarding the bankruptcy court approval of a 30-day extension of the exclusivity period during which United Airlines management may file its own plan of reorganization and the approval of new debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing:
“Today, based upon a change in the terms of the loan, the court approved the DIP agreement. That change, as stated by the court, allows United to make its pension payments. Previously, the agreement prohibited United in effect from making pension contributions. Based upon this change in the terms, we call on Glenn Tilton to immediately meet funding obligations that were due on July 15, 2004.
“Flight Attendants have already made enormous sacrifices to help the airline’s finances. Workers’ economic concessions totaling nearly $13 billion between 2003 and 2009 have left United with some of the lowest labor costs among the major airlines – and workers feel those cuts on a daily basis. Even so, Flight Attendants continue to prove our dedication to our airline as we bring the passengers back. Management should not misread our dedication and industry-leading service records as complacency about the company’s continued attack on our work rules, healthcare, wages and pensions. We have only begun to fight current managements’ efforts to extract more concessions from Flight Attendants. We will continue to challenge current management decisions as they relate to United Airlines’ successful exit from bankruptcy.
“Limiting the extension of exclusivity period to 30 days during which United Airlines management may file its own plan of reorganization, although unsatisfactory, is a step in the right direction. We will continue to demonstrate to the court that Flight Attendants and other creditors must be provided the opportunity to explore plans other than those that have consistently failed under the direction of current management . The latitude afforded this management after their consistent failure to make good faith progress toward reorganization is astounding.
“Flight Attendants are currently participating in a web-based vote of no confidence in the senior management of United Airlines. The vote will conclude at 5 p.m. Central Time on August 24. Depending upon the outcome, AFA anticipates joining the motion by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers for the appointment of a trustee.”
More than 46,000 Flight Attendants, including the 21,000 Flight Attendants at United, join together to form AFA, the world’s largest Flight Attendant union. AFA is part of the 700,000 member strong Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.unitedafa.org.